Wednesday, November 25, 2015

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Note: This is the last installment of a three part series detailing my personal, complicated feelings about Randy Moss. I love him for the player he was, but hate him for what could have been. Hit it here for Part I and Part II.

Hate is a strong word.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that a person should never truly hate anything. It simply takes up too much time and mental energy to actively hold disdain for something or someone. But as a younger, less mature man, I can honestly say that I hated Randy Moss. I’m not proud of it. It was the sort of irrational feelings that a fan projects on a player who wasn’t as great as he could have been (despite being a future first ballot Hall of Famer) while sulking his way out of town. Twice.

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Kyle Rudolph is broken.

He’s missed 16 games in four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, and before that, 9 in three seasons at Notre Dame. In 2013, it was a broken left foot. In 2014, it was a combination of freak injuries, from torn abdominal muscles to an MCL strain.

In a March phone interview with Brian Murphy of the Pioneer Press, Rudolph expressed his frustration with the nagging injuries:

“I’d like to think no one in the league works harder than I do to stay healthy and take care of my body, but the bottom line is I haven’t been, and the only way to get rid of those questions is to play 16 games.”

After signing a five-year contract extension worth up to $40 million in the 2014 offseason, Rudolph failed to live up to expensive expectations — his $19.4 million in guaranteed money made him the second-highest paid tight end in the league behind Jimmy Graham. Even after shedding 16 pounds and getting faster in preparation for Norv Turner’s Air Coryell offense, Rudolph spent more time on the sidelines than in the end zone, missing almost half of the Vikings’ games last season.

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Ryan Boser did a great job outlining the draft tendencies of Rick Spielman this week, but it is my opinion that he overlooked one more: Spielman loves to pair college teammates together on his roster. That trend continued today, albeit not through a draft choice, when the Vikings signed long snapper Kevin McDermott.

McDermott, 25 years old, was the college teammate of current Vikings punter Jeff Locke at UCLA. The Vikings, of course, drafted Locke in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft and has been mostly disappointing thus far.

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March was an interesting month that included a whole lot of wheel-spinning on the Adrian Peterson front, a trade that brought deep threat Mike Wallace to town and sent Greg Jennings packing, and also an extremely measured approach to free agency.

Before we get going on this week’s links, I want to take a look back at March and the most popular articles penned by each of our writers here at VT:

ARIF HASANA month ago, we published a sourced report that the Vikings were determined to get rid of Adrian Peterson.

DARREN PAGEAn incredibly detailed comparison of Teddy Bridgewater’s rookie season to those of other NFL quarterbacks.

ADAM WARWASTwist number 78 (give or take) in the Adrian Peterson “news” cycle was a report that the Arizona Cardinals were prepared to make a trade offer to acquire the superstar running back.

BRENT LABATHE: A look at how the fates of the Minnesota Vikings and the Cleveland Browns have been intertwining in recent years.

LINDSEY YOUNG: Defensive end Michael Johnson is once again “the one that got away” for the Minnesota Vikings.

AUSTIN BELISLE: There is a perception out there that the Vikings have backed Adrian Peterson into a corner.

BRETT ANDERSON: Partnering with Luke Inman to produce scouting reports of 2015’s top draft prospects has been a fun addition for the draft geeks around here (I love them, anyways). DeVante Parker’s scouting report has been the most popular of them all.

CARL KNOWLESOur “Sleeper Sunday” events have seemed like a nice distraction during these quiet weekends, but the evaluation of quarterback Brandon Bridge was particularly popular.

ANDY CARLSON: Taking the leap into the deep end of the pool, Andy gave us his first written opinion articles during the month of March, including one about the release of Greg Jennings being a justified move.

If you like all the content here at VT and want to support this fine group of writers, then we have a no-pressure option for you! Simply visit out Fan Cave store and do your online shopping through our Amazon links. After all, you know you want one of these. Or two.

Okay, onto our Links of the Week:

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This week’s Vikings Fan Spotlight is the final segment of a 3-week project. I had such an amazing response on Twitter from Vikings fans all over the world, and I decided to break this feature into three separate parts. 

Simon Bruus – Denmark – @Bruusen

SimonQ: How did you first become a Vikings fan?
A: My grandfather’s great grandfather is from Minneapolis, and my grandfather […] calls himself “The biggest Vikings fan in Europe.” He religiously follows the Vikings every Sunday when they’re on, and he also religiously watch[es] the University of Minnesota’s football team, the Golden Gophers. Sometimes when I was younger, [I would] stay at my grandparents’ just to watch the Vikings with him, therefore the transition to becoming a Vikings fan was very easy.

Q: Are there a lot of other Vikings fans in Denmark?
A: In Norway [where I am studying abroad], there are almost none as I know of, but in Denmark there is a huge Vikings community. Denmark in general is a very “NFL-happy” nation and as far as I know one of the biggest followers of the sport outside the U.S.

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